If you spend much time on Google, you’ve probably noticed the little square pictures of people showing up to the left of random listings in search results. Looks cool, doesn’t it? Kelly wrote an awesome blog post about it recently; if you missed her post, you should head over and read more about why you should set up Google Authorship.
There are wildly varied reports from sources all over the web that adding Google Authorship will increase clickthroughs to your website – supposedly, you can get anywhere from a 40% increase to a 150% increase in clickthroughs. Call me crazy, but I don’t care about any of those numbers…
Why? Because it just looks cool. There is a HUGE opportunity for car dealers to be an early adopter of Google Authorship. There are just a handful of dealers who have set up authorship yet, so you’ll probably be the first dealership in your area with a photo next to your listing in search results.
Think about that for just a few seconds – you could be the ONLY dealer on Google who has a picture in the search results! Look how much these dealers stand out because they’re the only dealerships with authorship set up:
You want it, don’t you? Unfortunately, there are several different methods for setting up Google Authorship markup. I’m not going to waste your time explaining all the different methods, I’m just going to show you the easiest and most reliable way to add the markup to your dealership website.
2 Simple Steps For Setting Up Google Authorship
Before you start - You’ll need to have your Google Plus profile set up. If you don’t have a Google+ profile yet, go set one up – it needs to be a personal profile, not a business page. Make sure you’re using a recognizable headshot as your profile photo. You can’t use your dealership logo, it has to be your face.
STEP 1 - Edit your Contributor To section on your Google+ profile. Click “Add a custom link” and enter the URL for your website.
STEP 2 - Add a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage. You need to add this code into the <head> section of your site – if you don’t have access, ask your website provider to add it for you. The link should look like this:
<link rel=”author” href=”[profile_url]“>
You need to replace [profile_url] with your Google+ profile URL,
so the link would look like this:
<link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/116935657533609601974″>
That’s it – you’re done! Head over to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, enter your URL, and click the “Preview” button. You should see your headshot in the Preview area if you’ve followed the steps above.
It might take some time for the picture to show up in search results. If you’ve just uploaded a new photo, it will have to go through Google’s approval process. Once it’s approved, it usually takes up to a week or two for the picture to start showing up in search results, and it’s not going to show up every time you have search results.
Also, don’t be surprised if your author image shows up for a few weeks and then disappears. It’s fairly common for the photo to show up for a while, then disappear temporarily. It will pop back up at some point, so don’t worry.
If you have any other questions about Google Authorship or how to set it up on your dealer website, let us know! If you’d like to do even more to boost your online visibility, AutoRevo’s SEO and Social Media team can help – call us today at 888-311-7386 for a free consultation.